randall's red velvet cupcakes tall

Valentine’s Day Red Velvet Cupcakes

Valentine’s Day is normally a night out at a nice restaurant, followed by an indulgent dessert with your significant other.

But, with most people staying home this year, couples will have to have to make other plans for their special night together. So, why not bring the heat to your home kitchen instead? Whatever you do for dinner, be sure to cap the evening off with something sweet you can share.

These red velvet cupcakes made with a little surprise are the ultimate Valentine’s Day dessert recipe.

Red velvet cupcakes are a perfectly themed dessert for Valentine’s Day because of their deep and rich red color: the color of love and passion, of course. But, and our cupcake recipe is made of something special besides love: great northern white beans! Using beans as a substitute cuts down on the fat by removing the oil and bumps up the protein and fiber with applesauce. This helps make them a slightly healthier, and still delicious, dessert option.

But don’t worry, there is still plenty of sweetness, and we made it easy by using a red velvet cake boxed mix to cut down on prep and difficulty, leaving you more time to spend with your partner. The cupcakes are topped with cream cheese icing and fresh strawberries for extra freshness and romantic flair. You’ll never be able to tell there are beans hiding in this desert.

Rich, moist, and healthy cupcakes? You’ll be in love with this recipe, and you’ll only need to share with one other person best of all!

We love recipes that can use a jar of our Great Northern Beans two ways, which is another great advantage of this recipe. With a 48 oz. jar of great northern beans handy, you can reserve two cups for this recipe and use the rest for the main course of your Valentine’s Day dinner.

These rich and delicious red velvet cupcakes are the perfect after-dinner pairing with our other Valentine’s Day bean recipes like our Rustic Pasta e Fagioli.

Makes about two dozen cupcakes.


  • 2 cups Randall Great Northern Beans (Tip: Use a 48 oz jar and reserve leftover beans for another recipe) drained
  • 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plain unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 box red velvet cake mix
  • 2 large eggs
  • Cream cheese frosting
  • Fresh, whole strawberries


  1. Preheat oven according to cake mix directions (around 350 F).
  2. Line cupcake/muffin pans with liners and spray with non-stick baking spray.
  3. In a large food processor add the first four ingredients. Blend until you have a smooth puree and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine dry cake mix, pureed bean mixture, and eggs with a handheld mixer at low speed until just combined, scraping down sides as needed. Once combined, beat for an additional 1 – 2 minutes at medium speed, until mostly smooth. Don’t over-mix.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared pans, filling each cupcake tin three-quarters full for a nice tall top when baked.
  6. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 12-14 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Cupcakes are done baking when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. When finished, remove cupcakes from tins and allow to completely cool on a wire rack before frosting. For a prettier presentation, spoon frosting into a piping bag and swirl in a circular pattern on the cupcake for a more decorative finish.
  8. Top each frosted cupcake with a fresh strawberry and serve.